Masala!

Rising music star Asees Kaur on being famous

The 32-year-old already has long list of hits that are timeless

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Asees Kaur is not the kind of celebrity you come across every day. It is not is easy to label her talent. The young singer carved a niche for herself as a playback singer in Bollywood. After chasing her dream with conviction, Kaur is finally at a good place in her career. Her breakthrou­gh performanc­e in the ‘Makhna’ song from Drive and her Bollywood debut in the song ‘Bolna’ from Kapoor & Sons made her an overnight sensation. Masala! spoke to Asees Kaur to take a peek into her life to know more about what a beautiful musically-charged future we are heading to.

Your success story is like a true Bollywood dream, you’ve been recognized for your sheer talent and hard work. How have things changed for you?

As a five-year-old, I started singing Gurbani and since then all I remember it was my dream to be a singer. After completing my post-graduation I came to Mumbai to follow my dreams, I tried my luck and visited a lot of music directors, and then ‘Bolna’ happened and the rest is history. The love from the audience was overwhelmi­ng for me, people knew me for my voice.

Bolna had marked your debut in the industry, tell us about how that happened.

Before ‘Bolna’ I did a few songs like Dildara and a few versions of Arijit Singh’s song like ‘Chunar’ and ‘Ashk Na Ho’ (Holiday) and those songs won a lot of accolades. After that a got a call from the composer Tanishk Bagchi and he wanted to try my voice for some of his songs and I went ahead with it and that same day I had to catch my flight so I completed the recording of the song in just 15 minutes.

Does it bother you that people know your songs but not you?

People used to think that ‘Bol Na’ was sung by Alia Bhatt. Especially since I was so in sync with Alia that no one could easily believe that I have sung it. At the beginning of my career, a lot of people knew my songs but they didn’t know my name. Eventually, things changed people recognized my songs, my voice, and my face, and the best part is that it was all fun for me.

Does social media play a big role for you as an artist?

Before the pandemic and the lockdown, I was not into social media but since we were all forced to sit at home I decided to give it a try and connect with my fans. Through social media, I could connect to my audience again and because I was missing the adrenaline rush of going on stage and performing live in front of the audience. I was touched by the overwhelmi­ng response and my independen­t songs got good responses. I try to make sure to post something daily to keep entertaini­ng my fans via my songs or different interactin­g posts.

The pandemic halted the world, things are now steadily coming back to normal; how has it been for you?

Well, the pandemic changed our lives and our outlook towards it. I am really happy that things are getting better. I really can’t wait to be back on the stage and sing live for my lovely audience. It affected me too since I was always busy running errands for my work but now, I feel like we all need this break and be with our family, spend some quality time with them. Sometimes we should just chill and have fun.

What is your unwinding process like?

My unwinding process is sometimes just a cup of coffee or tea while sitting on my balcony. I like listening to Sufi music, watching a good movie or bingewatch­ing some shows and enjoying a bowl of Maggie along with it.

Do you ever get scared of the ups and downs in this industry?

I think ups and downs are part of everybody’s life and not just in the industry. No, I’m not scared of anything because I know I will give my best In my case I work on bringing out my song and giving it to my audience and then it’s theirs, I disconnect myself from it and get into another project. So, emotionall­y I stay involved with my songs before the release, once it’s out there I take feedback and move on. On the other hand, I feel like ups and downs should be there only then it shows your worth and importance of happiness and success.

How did you handle the stardom that comes along with the success?

I love all the attention that comes along with success. I aspire to be successful in a way that I can’t go to a street-side vendor or have Gol Gappa as I do normally in my life. So, this is my idea of success and stardom, and love it when people come and tell me that they love my songs or they want to click a selfie. I enjoy the attention, love, and affection that people shower and I intend to keep this going. I will keep on making new songs and keep entertaini­ng my audience and my fans

You have new songs in Haseen Dilruba. What’s the process of doing something like that for an OTT show.

The song is Lakeeran and it’s a beautiful song composed by Amit Trivedi. I am already in love with it and can’t wait for the song to release. For all the film/non-film songs, for OTT shows, I sing it with the same energy, same enthusiasm, and same passion, ultimately it’s all about delivering the expression of the song. I just hope that it touches people’s hearts, whether it’s a dance number or a romantic song or it’s a very emotional kind of song. So, for me the process is the same and it’s doesn’t make any difference for me which platform it is.

“I enjoy the attention, love, fame that comes with being successful. it’s all I ever wanted.”

You began your career with the reality show Indian Idol which is heavility being criticized right now.

I participat­ed in Indian Idol 6 but I was just there till the theatre round. So, I don’t have any idea that what happens when you are there in the top 15 or top 12. Now I am a judge for a reality show IPML which airs on Zee TV and you always get a brief from the team/channel/production house that this how we want the show to be. But I don’t think anyone would tell you what to comment on. So, I am the face of the reality show and it’s my responsibi­lity to be loyal to the audience and what they see. So it is your responsibi­lity to say whatever you feel is true whether you are listening to a song or the back story of a contestant, you should always be true to yourself, and then only it will make sense because people trust you.

What’s the music industry like in India?

The music industry in India is right now we can say one verge of emergence. Independen­t songs and music is getting more important as it uses to get a few years back. I think the pandemic has played a vital role in people opening up and listening to independen­t music with the same enthusiasm.

What’s your plan for the next year?

I am working towards my dream. Two important projects have been lined up. For me, working every day is important. It keeps me sane and happy. I have a dream song coming up with TM Music production­s and I am looking forward to it. It’s a new kind of song and am hoping that my fans and critics love it as well. I am really working hard to make sure the final product blows people away. I am looking forward to lots of beautiful feedback and hopefuly it will be loved.

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